strategy

Communism

Synonyms:
Marxism
Marxist-leninism
Description:
Forming a socio-economic system founded on public ownership of the means of production. It is a classless social system with full social equality of members. Under it all-around development of people is accompanied by the growth of science and technology, and the wellsprings of cooperative wealth that is distributed equally. Communism is the process through which the proletariat, led by the Communist Party, seizes the instruments of government; the state becoming the ruling class, "The dictatorship of the proletariat". The dictatorship of the proletariat modifies the state to first establish socialism in which the principle "from each according to his ability, to each according to his work" will be given effect. This initial stage implies inequality, since some work will still be better paid than other work, some private property will be accumulated and there will, consequently, still be some class distinctions. This is necessary because the minds and hearts of the people are not easily accustomed to the new regime, though growing acceptance of the new society means growing democratization of the social process. During this stage all elements in society except the working class are excluded from power. Large industrial enterprises, banks, the media, large landed estates, wholesale commerce, and foreign trade are put under the control of the state. The means of propaganda, the press and formal education are put under working class direction. Small business may be left untouched because the revolution cannot be implemented at a stroke. Having achieved socialism, the dictator- proletariat then advances to communism, at which stage the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" will be given effect. This means that all distinction between classes of labour and property categories will disappear. The state withers away because the machinery of government is no longer necessary since all people, having what they need, behave with full social responsibility.
Context:
There have been and continue to be many small communities based on common ownership and equal distribution of income and wealth. Most are based on a rational, utopian philanthropic or religious motivation. In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the "Communist Manifesto". In 1867 the first volume of "Das Capital", combining German classical philosophy, British political economy and French utopian socialism was published. They have been variously interpreted by Lenin, Trotsky, Mao Tse-Tung and Fidel Castro and others in the actual application of Communism to specific social, political and cultural conditions.
Implementation:
China, former USSR, eastern Europe, Cuba, Vietnam and political parties in western Europe, Africa and Latin America. Some non-literate societies may be partially communist. The basic economic resources (such as land boats, etc.) belong to the community as a whole and not to individuals or families. The distribution of wealth is usually not based on need but on complex relationships within the community. Religious groups and utopian communities like early Christians, mediaeval monasteries, and intentional communities of the 19th and 20th centuries, shared property and wealth on a basis of need as defined by the community. There are some historical societies such as Sparta, Munster Anabaptists, and the Jesuit Paraguay republic which were organized along these lines.
Claim:
1. The collapse of capitalism, while inevitable, will cause such suffering for the working class that the proletariat is morally obligated to overthrow the state to minimize such suffering.

2. The communist revolutions of the 20th century have resulted in dramatic improvements in the lives of billions of people at a more rapid rate than otherwise possible and with less suffering than the industrial revolution of Western Europe and North America.

Counter Claim:
1. The Communist ideology is based on several false assumptions (a) a mechanistic world view, (b) the essential evil of man, and c) the centrality of the economy and specifically the means of production to human society.

2. Communism is the greatest menace of our times, threatening the existence of civilization, the happiness of community, and the freedom and safety of every individual.

3. Communism, most commonly, is based on the violent overthrow of the state and thereby legitimizes violent social change.

4. Communist revolutions result in the deaths of millions of people and the violent alteration of ways of life.

Constrained by:
Opposing communism
Problems:
Marxism
Subjects:
Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies